With warmer temps finally making their way here, heralding spring’s arrival, it’s time to start preparing your home for the upcoming summer months. With increased temperatures comes increased usage of cooling systems. Making sure yours is working properly before you need to turn it on is key.
A Good Cleaning
There’s nothing worse than flipping on the AC on the first really hot day of spring only to be met with silence. That’s why you should do a proper cleaning of the unit; so that when it comes time to turn it on, it will work, as it should. If you have a central AC unit, the portion that sits outside has been collecting lots of debris over the previous fall and winter, namely sticks, twigs, acorns, leaves and dirt. You can’t expect the fan to rotate seamlessly if there’s junk inside. These obstructions will prevent the free flow of air, so it’s necessary to take the top grill off and remove all the debris inside. You can also use a hose to clean the stuck-on dirt.
If you have a reusable filter, you can simply clean it in warm, soapy water and reinstall. If you don’t, you’ll have to replace the filter with a new one every month or whenever the manufacturer recommends it. You’ll find the filters at the blower unit near the return duct, points out Popular Mechanics. Failure to clean or replace your filters allows dirt and debris to build up and prevent the free flow of air. When this happens, the unit has to work much harder than it should, thereby increasing your cooling costs. You also run the risk of recirculating dirty air through your home, says Home Tips. One further tip: If you have special filters designed to cut down on allergens, you’ll need to replace them more often, ensuring they work at their optimum performance level.
Inspect the Coolant Lines
You’ll see upon inspection that the pipes going from the evaporator to the condenser are wrapped in foam. This is for increased energy efficiency. If there are portions that are missing, flaking or fraying, replace this insulation, which is available in sleeves from your local home improvement or HVAC store.
Consult with a Pro
Hiring an air-cooling expert is a wise idea if you’re not too handy around the house. Full trained technicians can take care of all the maintenance on your AC unit, as well as installation, repair, and replacement of the unit if needed. Such an expert can also provide advice on the benefits and drawbacks of each type of cooling system or brand for your needs, and how a unit bearing the Energy Star label can boost your system’s overall efficiency, says Tudi Mechanical Systems. Call a professional in the spring rather than wait till summer. Your chances of getting a convenient appointment goes down drastically when you hit the dog days of summer, when AC techs are extremely busy.
Stay on top of your air conditioner maintenance and start preparing your HVAC unit for spring and summer. You will thank yourself later when you’re ready to use the unit and it’s sweltering outside!